Leh, Oct 12 (SocialNews.XYZ) Ladakh is an area endowed with huge natural resources and the Government of India has set a target of making the place carbon neutral.
To iterate and deliberate on the possibilities of renewable energy sources in Ladakh, the first conference of the Agni campaign was organised in Leh in October 2022 on the theme of Sustainability and Culture.
The idea of a Carbon-Neutral Ladakh was envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it aims at planning future developmental activities to minimise carbon emissions. He stated that it is an intrinsic part of Vision 2050 for development of Ladakh and carbon neutrality has to be embedded in every department's vision and action plan.
The TERI has been nominated by Niti Aayog to prepare an action plan document and certain recommendations were made as to how to achieve carbon neutrality in various sectors.
"Ladakh has immense solar energy potential, which should be harnessed. Ladakh should work towards generating systems to provide power to remote areas," said R.K. Mathur, Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh.
Another major focus area of the region is its "Geothermal energy". Unlike other renewable energy sources, which are intermittent in nature, it is available throughout the day and the year and could be suitably harnessed.
Green Hydrogen is another option in Ladakh, as the region has plenty of solar energy and water. The Hydrogen harnessed from this could be used to substitute petrol and diesel and the oxygen could be used in hospitals and by tourists.
Advisor of Ladakh, Umang Narula directed that all households in Ladakh should be encouraged to install solar cooking devices. Further steps will be taken to promote the construction of solar passive residential, official and commercial buildings in the urban areas. The Advisor further directed that all buildings should be accessible through a ramp or lift as per accessibility norms.
Similarly, the tourism department was asked to promote homestay tourism, which is sustainable and has a lower carbon footprint and in particular to incentivise construction of solar passive homestay accommodation.
The transport department was asked to plan the introduction of electric vehicles on a pilot basis for public and private transport and establish solar powered charging stations. It was informed that the UT administration is in the process of procuring e-cars, e-buses and introducing e-rickshaws.
The advisor exhorted upon utilising existing water resources optimally to bring more area under cultivation and pastureland which can sequester carbon emissions. He asked the Agriculture & Horticulture departments and the Deputy Commissioners to focus on drip irrigation and other efficient methods of micro- irrigation such as ponds/Dzings to maximize the use of existing water resources and also focus on adoption of organic manure.
According to India's Third Biennial Update Report to The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), "Carbon neutrality for Ladakh is not a mitigation goal, but a development vision. The biggest challenge is to find a path of sustainability that will protect and enable this fragile but unique landscape to flourish while ensuring that the amenities and benefits of modernity reach its population."
It is envisioned that the Carbon Neutral Ladakh mission should be a 'Citizen Movement' that can be achieved by focusing on 'energy literacy' to be imparted to the masses. Further, that the people must strive for ways to reduce their carbon footprint to achieve this vision of Carbon Free Ladakh.
NTPC proposed to set up a Pilot Project for the Green Hydrogen plant in UT Ladakh. A 1.25 MW solar plant will be supplying clean energy to the Hydrogen plant. The Hydrogen from the clean plant will be used to power fuel cell-based vehicles (5 buses and 5 cars). If successful, the pilot project can be extended and this will have a strong impact on making the transportation sector go green. Ladakh has 15 numbers of Small, Mini & Micro HEPS with an installed capacity of 30.06 MW under operation. Ladakh has a total hydro potential of 1,800 MW.